Ann Reardon

12 easy pie crust ideas to decorate you pies

Twelve creative pie crust ideas for you to make your pies look amazing. These are all fairly simple and just use store bought pastry. I usually always make my own pastry but there is a bigger picture behind this video that I’d like to discuss.

Let’s have an honest chat together about the reason for the experiment with this video format. I complained to youtube, again, about the diminishing views on all the biggest baking channels over the last couple of years. This has all happened since youtube changed to an artificial intelligence algorithm (the algorithm decides which videos are suggested for people to watch).

Here’s the views per month on the top 5 baking channels on youtube. Prior to the algorithm change all these channels were slowly growing month on month.

youtube baking is dying

the biggest youtube baking channels are dying

youtube baking trending down

youtube algorithm kills baking videos

youtube favouring content farms

I could screenshot more and show the same downward trend but thought this was enough to illustrate the point. For those who don’t understand how youtube works you get paid a portion of the fees paid to youtube for adverts on your videos. So diminishing views is directly proportionate to a diminishing income. This is not so much as issue if it is a side hobby, but if it is your main income source at some point you have to move on and find another job. Some large baking youtubers have already stopped creating videos and subsequently I get comments every week from people saying ‘please don’t stop uploading’.

At the same time there has been a dramatic surge in views seen on clickbait, compilation, copying, controversial topics and content-farm videos. Here’s some content-farm views per month over that same time period. Can you believe 5-minute crafts is now getting 800 million views a month!

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 6.21.23 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 6.21.02 pm

youtube content farm views skyrocket

youtube algoritm favours content farms

To my absolute surprise youtube’s reply after doing a ‘deep dive’ into food content on youtube was to suggest that I try making videos in the same format as channels like so yummy and tasty – huge companies with hundreds of employees. I thought I’d take the feedback seriously and started watching some So Yummy videos. I quickly noticed that only the first 3 minutes of their videos was new content, the rest was a reshuffle of their other videos. By reshuffling they seem to bypass the ‘no duplicated content’ rule on youtube that doesn’t allow you to upload the same video twice. Not only do they duplicate on the one channel they also upload it onto blossom, another channel that they own. They do this on order to pump out as many videos as possible for the lowest cost. They are all made in square format because that is what facebook apparently prefers. Is youtube encouraging me to make videos perfect for Facebook? Dangerous move considering facebook is now starting to monetise videos.

The current youtube algorithm favours constant uploading and ‘new’ videos. My type of videos take a week to film, edit and write the recipes out. So I can’t do multiple videos in a week. But just as a test I thought I’d listen to feedback from youtube and make a video in this style to see what people actually prefer – do you like full cooking videos with recipes and instructions or do you want fast forwarded compilations of easy baking with no written recipes? I did notice that the square format video takes up more realestate on the screen when watching vertical on a mobile – so that could be a good thing. I actually like making videos and seriously won’t be offended if you prefer simple, to music, same as seen everywhere else content. I will be surprised but not offended.

I predict that this video won’t get more views than a normal video, because I think it is not the style but the frequency of uploads that is the issue. But surely the youtube algorithm is based on what real people like, right? Not just how often you can upload.

I should make a video about this issue so people know why youtube bakers are disappearing.

ann reardon pie topper recipes

My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

55 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    I totally understand why you are trying this type of video, but as someone who has been here for years, I truly miss hearing your voice in videos. Whatever you decide to do I’ll still watch, but I would be a bit disappointed if you stay with this new type of video permanently.

    • I am relieved that there is support for the original type of video

  2. Rating: 4.5

    Hi Ann,
    I was so disappointed when I didn’t hear your voice and only the music, I have grown so used to turning the volume up when I watch your videos. Though I understand your point about the ratings I do still enjoy when you talk to us. I have watched Blossom and so Yummy and to say the least it sucks, why, because like you say they repeat EVERYTHING, which is useless so you get 3 min worth of video out of a 15min video, what a waste.

    But life is not always fair, so please tell us how we can help get your ratings up again so you will speak to us?

    • Thanks Laetitia, The only way to get the algorithm to pay attention is to upload constantly – daily or multiple times a day like 5 minute crafts works really well. This never used to work with the old suggestion algorithm but since they changed to artificially intelligence it was able to be gamed in this way. Unfortunately even big companies can’t put out masses of content for cheap without cutting corners. I definitely can’t upload that often. SO I’m planning 2 things. 1. upload less often (once a fortnight) so I can do some other work. 2. start a Patreon to help continue the channel. I haven’t set it up yet though.

  3. Rating: 4.5

    I agree with Ellie Dunlap. Not into miniatures. Loved your desserts. More please.
    Love hearing about the family and found your travel videos interesting and fun.
    Stay with the old format.

    • Thanks Gillian

  4. Rating: 5

    Personally I dislike compilation videos, the music is jarring to me and I lose interest really soon. The actual reason I came to your web page was to see if it was store bought pastry because again, I thought that was unlike you. So sorry that YouTube has killed your income. I much much prefer real videos. But I can now see why other channels, such as how to cake that, have set up a second stream with new people literally just to do compilations. All the best!

    • Hi Hannah, very observant, even that is not working so well for them. It’s been 2 years since youtube changed the algorithm and it doesn’t look like they have any intention of doing anything.

  5. Rating: 5

    I like your own style! Please don’t change it.
    I am vegetarian and I can’t even follow most of your recipies because they have eggs! But I come weekly to watch YOU and your inspirational videos!
    Your style is unique the thing that made you reach this point is what you are.
    If I want to watch fast forwarded videos with only music I would be watching vegan recipies and they are everywhere!

    • Thanks Huwaida, I needed to do the experiment to ask the question – which style do people prefer. The poll says 90% prefer my usual style

  6. Rating: 5

    Hey Ann,
    I know that Youtube can be a hard and (excuse my language) sh*tty business. I have a friend who lives off it as well.
    He does have a Patreon Account as well, which gives him funds too, but I dont know how well that would work out for you. Might be worth a try?
    As for your videos. I worked 5 years as a chef, now changed profession as I just wanted a change of pace.
    And I love all of your videos. I did subscribe because of your “original” videos though. With your personality, humor, talent. I do enjoy you videos like your pie video just now as well. But I would love if you keep it in your own style.
    I did make a few of your recipes already as well. And they turned out great.
    Much love from Austria

    • Thanks for your encouragement and understanding Florian. I’m not sure how Patreon will work out either but I thought I might give it a try. If no one supports it at least I’ll know I tried everything

  7. Rating: 4.5

    Please don’t change! One of the things that makes you different and better than the mainstream channels is how in-depth and creative they are! Your voiceovers are one of the best parts and it feels so much more personal. Please keep making these videos they are so inspiring and you are amazing! It’s a terrible issue, and I think YouTube should change it. The quality content that takes time and effort is being lost. I like coffeecat’s idea of doing the video in a few different parts through the week so the whole thing is finished on Friday.
    Once again, you are amazing and thank you for all these wonderful recipes and ideas.

    • thanks Eevilyweevily

  8. Rating: 5

    Hi there, Just to say, I watched part of one of your new videos where it was music and action. I did not like this format and so closed the page. I really enjoy your previous types showing and describing exactly what you are doing – including anything that can be awkward. I have made a lot of your cakes and they always turn out fab. Thanks

    • Thanks for the feedback Muriel

  9. Rating: 5

    The company that I work for operates two YouTube channels and I’d agree that YouTube rewards channels that upload more frequently. There has been a time, when it seemed like they were going for quality so that they can say “look, we are more than just cat videos and people falling on their face. Advertise with us and your ads will be framed by high-quality content”. But that didn’t work out for them, there has always been negative talk about brand safety on YouTube.

    So I think that’s the reason why they reward more frequent uploads. If they can’t get companies to pay more for their ads, they need to show more ads (at least if they want to make more money). And they can show more ads, when people watch more videos. So they push the channels that have frequent uploads where the chances are higher to watch more videos. And probably everyone would watch a couple of Tasty videos that are no longer than 5 minutes.

    So if you switch to Tasty-style videos, you’d probably have to do a lot more of them. There are a few cooking channels that replaced their hosted videos by Tasty videos and they didn’t gain any traction. I think Sorted Food tried it a few years ago. Jamie Oliver had some of them.

    What could work for you, is actually taking a closer look to Tasty. They do more than just those 5-minute square videos. They have hosted videos now as well. Tasty 101 is one example, but they also have shorter narrated videos like how to make basic pumpkin pie or how to make Spagetthi and Meatballs.

    So what I would suggest is to increase your output by producing more videos that are more basic, 5-minute videos. Some of them narrated, some of them not. If it’s a simpler video (making pumpkin pie, making a few videos that just show different cookie recipes), you should probably narrate it. And then you have a selection of videos, which you can upload every other day. You might have to reduce the more creative videos and the crazier desserts, but if you make one of those every week and produce simpler videos between those recipes, it might work out. I hate saying that you should reduce your crazy dessert though, because your recipes are my go-to recipes when I need to impress people!.

    You shouldn’t change your style completely anyway. If your audience won’t dig the new style, they’ll turn of and will hurt you, too. (We’ve experienced that with one of the channels that my employer operates..) But still having some videos as usual and then more basic recipes with narration (“mix everything together, put it in the oven, wait”) and the traditional Tasty videos that can be compiled into bigger videos later on, might be a good mixture. I think it’s definitely a good time to try and increase your output since CPT are quite high in December, so theres a bigger reward.

    Whatever you do though: Though the thing that makes you the happiest in life. And don’t just make it a great week, make it a great year 2019.

    • Thanks for your well thought out reply Chris, Tasty uploads 29 videos a week! Even if I tripled my output to three times a week they are uploading 10X more than that. I currently work 48 hours on an average week so to up the output is not an option. Whenever I see individual you-tubers trying to up the number of uploads the quality and creativity decreases. Which makes sense because to put out more you have less time to spend on each one. And ultimately they burn out at that pace. I’ve spent 2 years with this artificial intelligence algorithm, experimenting and watching other channels do the same – including increasing their upload schedules. I’ve realised that the only things that are working are controversy, click bait and constant uploads. From the poll on this video it seems that’s not what real people want (despite the algorithm saying they do). So my plan is to go to every second week so I can do other work and start a Patreon to see if there is enough support to keep fortnightly videos going.

  10. Rating: 5

    Hi Anne,
    Prefer ur voice in the video, the detail instructions which you provide can’t be found in any other videos. That’s why we eagerly wait for your videos.
    The way you say, ‘Hi, I am Anne Reardon welcome to how to cook that’sooths our ears.

    • thanks Adi

  11. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, I have been subscribed for around 5 years and I can’t imagine Fridays without your videos!
    I love your content and prefer the longer, less frequent videos but I will not unsub if you make the decision to switch the video format.
    I wait all week for your videos and enjoy rewatching them dozens of times.
    I hope for the best for you from Norway.
    Have a wonderful day!

    • Thanks Alon

  12. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    I have subscribed to your channel for years. I would happily subscribe for money. Why don`t you use or something similar. Please don’t change your style of presenting your creations.
    All the Best,

  13. Rating: 5

    Ann, I really prefer your old format where you talk and explain how to cook whatever you’re cooking. When I watch clickbaity videos after I’m done I usually feel like I’ve wasted my time because it’s just empty content. I don’t really absorb anything from it.

    It’s not really that people prefer clickbait it’s that clickbait is kind of addictive and it sucks you in and makes you feel bad. It’s unfair that makers of good content have to compete with clickbait.

    At the same time, that’s the reality that you’re in, and you need to make a living. Have you considered setting up a Patreon where people could donate to you directly? You have enough subscribers that you could probably make a decent amount that way.

    Or maybe you could do long form videos a little less often and also upload some clickbait stuff just for youtube that you don’t post to your website? I think you do have to try to beat youtube’s algorithms to funnel more viewers into your channel, which does mean playing along with some of this clickbait stuff, but if you post a lot of clickbait videos onto your website, you’ll have a signal to noise ratio issue on the website; I bet most of your hits on your website either come from your youtube channel (the video description on clickbait stuff could link to older recipes that you’d remixed in that video) or from people goggling something like “how to make a barbie cake”, so you don’t need a separate post here for each remix.

    I’ve been watching all your videos for years and I really enjoy them.

  14. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann! I like the videos with instructions and everything lime you allways does! not just music and the image, althou I do watch these kinds of videos mostly on facebook, but only when they show up on my time line at random, and I don’t really ever try making something from such videos. I like your videos because not only I can learn much more complicated and unique things, you show not only how to make things, but also how not to make them. Also I get to fell much more closed to you, its more personal. I love seeing your life, your family! every week I look foward to your videos and I personally love having only a video per week. But I can see that its not what its working anymore for the money making part and this makes me sad.. I don’t know how to help with a solution, but I hope for the best and that you can sort thigs out. Anyway I’ll keep following and watching your videos! Good luck and a lot of love all the way from Brazil =)

  15. Rating: 5

    Anne, I commented on YouTube without reading this explanation first. I’m so sorry that you are losing views. Honestly, you’ve lost some of my views over the last year, mostly because I’m personally not into the miniature cooking series. I know that a lot of other people like that one though. Here are my thoughts. What brought me to your show was the chocolate, the interesting and unique dessert recipes, and the cake decorating. I actually made a rootbeer version of your pop bottle cake for my niece for her birthday! I do think that YouTube caters to newer content, so if a channel uploads more often, you’ll see it in your feed more often, which leads to more clicks and views. Long story short, I don’t think I have a solution for you. But I miss your old videos. And I loved your vacation desserts series, which is what brought me back to your channel. All I can give you is the opinion of one fan, but for what it’s worth, there it is ?. Love you! If someday you have to stop posting, we will all miss you, but you will continue to do wonderful things in your corner of the world.

  16. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, I have been watching your channel for years now and each week I am waiting for your upload. I don’t think I have followed any other channel as closely as yours. I am sorry, that the YouTube algorithm has changed again and is giving you a hard time. For a while now, it seems almost undesirable to put effort into YouTube.
    I love the videos in which you explain what you are doing because I think you have such a creative approach to baking. But if it is not viable for your, you should definitely address it and yes, make a video about it.
    Unfortunately, I don’t quite know what you could do for more frequent videos. A vlog maybe, something that doesn’t take a lot of editing? (You’ve probably already thought about that.) Split the full process into multiple videos per week, so the whole thing is done on Friday?
    Either way, I wish you all the best figuring this all out. I’ll keep supporting you for sure!

  17. Rating: 5

    Dear Ann,
    I like the videos you made in the past much more than this one. It is nice to see how pies could be decorated a little bit more fashionable. But it is not always how a cake, pie etc. looks like but the more it tasts. All of the sudden I’m not the generation youtube is looking for which means I’m not the generation who uses youtube only for entertainment. I rather like to learn how things are done and I like to see how things are made differently in other countries. Most of the “normal” users of youtube only want to be entertained and the time they like to watch is not much longer than a few minutes. Afterwards they switch to another video. And that’s what the algorithm is following. How to make the most money in the fewest time. Users who are switching fast consume more advertisement which allows them to sell more advertisement which generates more profit. This is very sad because youtube changes from an information, learning a n d entertainment platform into a mere entertainment platform. This makes it less interesting. For those whose profession it is to inform teach and entertain peoole with their videos it will be a huge challenge to find a way in between the algorithm and the way they like to do their business on a profitable as well as self satisfying way. I hope you will be able to find this way as I like to see behind the surface instead of looking only onto it.
    Compliments of Sylvia

  18. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, I like your new videos but I think I like it better when you talk about the instructions. You make great videos and I really like your channel as well as the amazing recipes that inspire me to cook.

  19. Rating: 5

    I prefer the videos where you talk, but you should do what you feel comfortable with. c:

  20. Rating: 5

    Hey Ann, good tutorial.
    Just want to say that you SHOULD make a video about the issue baking channels are facing 🙂

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